“All the infrastructure platforms we’re building are meant to be used by the entire country, including businesses, and not just government,” Mr Siim Sikkut, Estonian Government’s CIO explained how Estonia is approaching innovation for automation.
An example is X-Road, a secure data exchange platform built over a decade ago to facilitate interoperability between public-sector agencies. Since June 2017 it is also used for cross-border data transfer between the Estonian and Finnish governments. Since the platform’s inception, it has been used widely by citizens. The platform is now available for commercial firms to use, for data transfer with the government and for B2B data exchange between commercial enterprises.
The government also has plans, according to Mr Sikkut, to develop platforms that both utilise AI techniques and that help to facilitate AI R&D. “Once we build a framework for those,” he says, “it will be there for businesses as well as universities, other not-for-profit institutions and of course citizens to use.”
It is important to stress that Estonia did particularly well in the “Skills for an automated economy” category of the index, ranking second.
The Automation Readiness Index measures countries’ preparedness for the coming wave of intelligent automation. The index provides a snapshot across a set of 25 countries of current government-led efforts to anticipate the resulting changes and shape the outcomes of technological progress. This benchmarking model contains the results of the research based on 52 indicators and is compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The 25 countries represented were chosen as follows: the largest economies of the world were selected (G20), comprising a majority of high-income countries (ten), uppermiddle-income countries (seven), and two lower-middleincome countries (India and Indonesia); additional countries were selected in consultation with the expert panel on the basis of relevance and geographic representation. Estonia and Singapore were selected on the basis of their advances in digitalisation and being potential sources of best practices; Furthermore, the UAE, Colombia, Malaysia and Vietnam were selected for representation of key emerging economies from Latin America, South-east Asia, and the Middle East.